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CALDWELL'S WWE EXTREME RULES PPV RESULTS 4/25: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Cena vs. Batista, Orton vs. Swagger

Apr 25, 2010 - 9:59:59 PM
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WWE Extreme Rules PPV Results & Report
April 25, 2010
Baltimore, Md.
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor


Monday through Friday, join Wade Keller or James Caldwell and a guest co-host for the PWTorch Livecast, featuring live callers, live chat room questions, and conversation on the latest breaking news in pro wrestling from WWE, TNA, and other organizations. The show launched in late-December and is already one of the top sports talk shows at the Blog Talk Radio network.

***

The WWE PPV started with a video package with that WCW Saturday Night buzzer sound warning viewers on the extreme nature of the PPV. The video hyped the PPV basically as WrestleMania 26 re-matches with stipulations before diving into a break down of the feuds culminating at the PPV tonight.

Arena: The show started with Michael Cole introducing the PPV before they started with the Street Fight between Triple H and Sheamus. Triple H's music hit. Hunter jerking the curtain? Hunter was nowhere to be found, thought. The announcers awkwardly tried to sell the audience they didn't know what was going on. The cameras cut backstage where Sheamus was pounding on Hunter with refs trying to separate them. Sheamus then blasted Hunter with a pipe shot and Hunter collapsed to the ground selling a KO shot. His bald spot on full display for the camera. A trainer came over to check on Hunter, who remained out cold before Sheamus left the backstage area.

In-ring: The announcers said they'll continue to monitor this situation throughout the night. The Miz and Big Show's music then hit to bring out the Unified tag champs. Jerry Lawler said they're not supposed to be here tonight. Miz took the mic and said they're going to start off the night right with the best tag team in WWE history, ShoMiz. He said they should take Bret Hart's word for it. Miz said Hart made a deal that if he beat David Hart Smith, then Hart would have to state the obvious that ShoMiz is the greatest tag team in WWE history. Miz advertised that Bret Hart will make that statement tomorrow night on Raw. He said tonight, they have a lack of competition. Cue up Teddy Long's music to provide an interruption. He said he has his hands full with what happened in the back. (Why, that's a Raw brand feud? This non-sense storyline of Long having authority control over everyone on PPVs is highly inconsistent.)

Long said he would give a tag team a title shot if they can beat Miz and Show tonight. Miz made a crack about the Baltimore Orioles, who have the worst record in baseball. Long said he would add another tag team just to make it interesting. Miz kept talking over Long running wild on the mic. Show became frustrated with Miz talking them into more and more trouble. Show finally covered Miz's mouth and said if they beat all three teams, then perhaps they deserve to be called greatest tag team of all time. Really, Teddy? Long said if one of the teams wins, that team gets a title shot on Raw tomorrow night.

Cue up R-Truth's music to bring out Truth and John Morrison for a WrestleMania opening match re-match after Miz & Show won that contest. The announcers finally acknowledged this after Truth finished his rap. The bell sounded to begin a gauntlet-style match.

1a -- Unified tag champions THE MIZ & BIG SHOW vs. JOHN MORRISON & R-TRUTH -- non-title match

Miz and Morrison started things off, then Truth and Morrison double-teamed Miz. Show eventually tagged in and cut off Truth before Miz re-entered and landed a big boot to Truth. Morrison and Show then re-entered and Morrison attempted a few kick strikes. Show then tried a chokeslam, but Morrison wrapped his legs around Show and applied a triangle choke. Morrison put the hold in the ropes and Morrison maintained the hold. He then put Show in the ropes with the hold and the ref applied a five count. He rang the bell as Show seemed to be tapping out, but Morrison and Truth were DQ'ed for not breaking the count. Striker yelled and screamed about the ref's decision being the right decision, then MVP and Henry stormed the ring as the next opponents.

WINNERS: Miz & Show via DQ at 3:13.

1b -- Unified tag champions THE MIZ & BIG SHOW vs. MARK HENRY & MVP -- non-title match

MVP tried a pin on Show, who was KO'ed on the mat, but Show kicked out. After some back and forth hecticness, MVP hit the Playmaker on Miz. He had a cover, but the ref was distracted. Show then KO Punched MVP from the outside as the ref walked over. The ref just waved off Show, then Miz made a cover on MVP in the ring. Cole said he saw the outside interference, but he's not sure the ref did. Cole must have missed the ref staring right at it. And now for the final team...the Hart Dynasty's music hit and out came Bret Hart leading Tyson Kidd and D.H. Smith to the ring, with Natayla.

WINNERS: Miz & Show at 1:53.

1c -- Unified tag champions THE MIZ & BIG SHOW vs. HART DYNASTY (TYSON KIDD & D.H. SMITH w/Bret Hart and Natalya) -- non-title match

The bell sounded, HD hit the springboard Hart Attack on Miz, and they made the cover for the win. The Harts very quickly got their shine to end the gauntlet.

WINNERS: Hart Dynasty at 0:10. And the Hart Dynasty gets the tag title shot on Raw tomorrow night. I doubt the Harts will get more PPV time later on, so if you're going to put Bret Hart on PPV, he should be featured a bit more than a brief cup of coffee in the opening "match." The quick match finish was good booking to continue getting over HD as babyfaces, but the use of Bret left much to be desired. This whole opening match left a bit to be desired. (*)

Backstage: Todd Grisham provided an update that Triple H is receiving a medical evaluation right now. Sheamus then stepped up to Grisham and said Hunter needs man up and admit he can't handle Sheamus or come to the ring and face him like a man.

In-ring: C.M. Punk's music hit to bring out Punk with the Straight Edge Society for the second match of the PPV. They showed a barber chair on stage positioned next to assorted barber's tools. Rey Mysterio then followed out with the stipulation here that Punk gets a haircut if he loses the match.

2 -- C.M. PUNK (w/Serena and Luke Gallows) vs. REY MYSTERIO -- Punk's hair on the line

The match moved to the floor early on and Mysterio landed signature high-flying offense. Back in the ring, Rey teased the 619, but Punk popped to his feet, then followed with a snap powerslam. Punk followed with a springboard headbutt ala Eddie Guerrero and made a cover for a two count. Punk tried to follow with a sunset flip off the ropes, but Rey rolled to his feet and snap-kicked Punk in the face for a two count. Punk then cut off Rey and began working him over as the fans chanted, "6-1-9." Punk tried a powerbomb, but Rey sat down on Punk's hairy chest to sit down on him for a close two count. They battled to the corner and Punk tried to catch Rey off the ropes with a G2S, but Rey slipped out and set up Punk for the 619. Serena grabbed Rey's legs from behind, though, and the spot was blown up. The ref then tossed Serena and Luke from ringside to a loud crowd pop. Punk grabbed his head in frustration and turned his back on Rey, so Rey took advantage with a dropkick to the back. Striker acted like Punk is handicapped now that he doesn't have Serena and Luke ringside.

The match resumed with Rey on the offensive and scoring a few nearfalls. "Are we getting the clippers out?!" or "Is it time for a haircut?!" Cole shouted before each kickout. Rey then tried a springboard splash off the ropes, but Punk kicked Rey in mid-air for a two count. Punk then went to the apron and his hair covered his face in a close-up shot before executing a springboard clothesline for another close two count. Striker was whispering encouragement to Punk, which drew a comment from Lawler under his breath. Rey then tried a corner move, but Punk countered into a G2S attempt, only to have Rey counter in mid-air with a snap huracanrana for a great nearfall. Punk responded with a kick to the head, though, and made a cover for a two count.

Punk and Rey exchanged holds, then Rey hit the 619. Rey couldn't capitalize, then a random man rolled a chair into the ring. The ref went to kick the chair away, then the random man dropped Rey face-first on the floor after crawling underneath the ring to the other side of the ring. He was wearing a hoodie to cover his face. All we saw were the Timberland boots. Rey was out cold at this point. Punk smiled as he rolled Rey back into the ring, then set up Rey for the G2S center ring. Punk connected and made the cover for the win. Punk celebrated saving his hair as they replayed the mystery man saving Punk. Punk then made his way to the barber's chair and celebrated not having to get a haircut.

WINNER: Punk at 15:56. Very good PPV undercard match... with no payoff. It will be interesting to see if the finish affects the audience the rest of the night, as the audience was heavily invested in the match and had the rug pulled out from under them with the finish. Of course, the interesting TV follow-up will be who the mystery man was. (***1/4)

3 -- SHAD GASPARD vs. JTG -- Strap match

After ring intros, the two men were tied together via strap for the touch-all-four-corners match format. They didn't bother to have the graphics this time lighting up when someone touches each of the four corners in succession. Shad tried to get a quick win, but JTG cut off Shad and whipped him hard across the back. Shad then yanked JTG over the top rope and started working the corners, but JTG played tug of war pulling Shad away from the corners. JTG yanked Shad across the top rope, then landed a Rough Ryder drop from the top rope. JTG then reached three corners, but Shad blocked #4 and planted him mid-ring. Shad then put JTG on his back and started working the corners. Per the formula strap match, JTG touched each of the three corners behind Shad's back. JTG then surprised Shad with the "box cutter" backbreaker and jumped to the fourth corner for the win.

WINNER: JTG at 4:43. Interesting booking with JTG going over. This wasn't a good strap match, but they were handcuffed by the stipulation here. And the crowd wasn't into it after the previous match finish. The announcing is unbearable tonight, by the way. I don't know why WWE continues with this trio. (*)

Backstage: Grisham said Triple H has nerve damage and it's unlikely he'll be able to wrestle tonight against Sheamus. The crowd loudly booed that "news." Back to the announcers, Cole and Lawler plugged the Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton title match up next.

In-ring: World Hvt. champion Jack Swagger came out first for the World Title match. The announcers talked about Swagger having a few setbacks lately with losses to Undertaker and John Morrison, but they decided Swagger is able to rise to the occasion. Lawler said perhaps Swagger is taking himself too seriously with the demeanor change. Good commentary exchange there. They did the Andre shot on Swagger to make him look huge standing in the ring, then Randy Orton's music hit to bring out Orton to challenge Swagger. Orton was the clear babyface here before Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros.

SECOND HOUR

4 -- World Hvt. champion JACK SWAGGER vs. RANDY ORTON -- World Hvt. Title match -- Extreme Rules match

Basically, anything goes with the only way to win being a pin or submission. Orton cleared Swagger to the outside early on and Swagger grabbed a chair ringside. Orton walked out to the floor and kicked the chair away, then Orton stalked Swagger around ringside back into the ring. Swagger started playing cat and mouse, then suckered Orton into a forearm to the gut. Swagger proceeded to suplex Orton on the floor before rolling him back into the ring to land more offense. Swagger established a methodical pace here with constant gazes into the hard camera in-between holds. The announcers debated whether Swagger is taking too much time or just confident. Swagger eventually went to the floor and grabbed the World Title belt to use as a weapon back in the ring. Swagger measured Orton, but Orton kicked him in the gut and landed multiple European uppercuts. Swagger cut off Orton, then slowly, slowly, slowly backed away to the corner for a running Vader Bomb, but Orton grabbed the title belt and smashed Swagger in the lower region with the title belt. Swagger rolled to the apron to recover, but Orton grappled him for the spike DDT, only to have Swagger block with a back drop over the top rope to the floor.

On the floor, Swagger flipped up the apron to signify weapons were coming into play. Orton blocked a trashcan shot, then grabbed the can and smashed Swagger over the head with two clean trashcan shots to the head. Apparently there won't be a fine since it wasn't a chair. For shame there are still blows to the head with a weapon. Orton then rammed Swagger into the ring steps before placing Swagger face-first on the steps. He did a foot stomp that barely grazed Swagger's head before rolling him into the ring. Swagger cut off Orton, though, and tried to bring a chair back into the ring, but Orton caught Swagger on the apron and delivered the trademark spike DDT. Orton then did a big stare that drew a pop and crouched down on the mat preparing for the RKO. Orton's attention was then distracted and he placed a chair center ring. Orton teased a running RKO into the chair, but Swagger countered by dropping Orton back-first across the seat of the chair. Orton sold that like his back was exploding with each breath. Swagger tried to follow with the gutwrench powerbomb and he eventually connected center ring. Swagger with the pin for the win.

WINNER: Swagger at 14:01. Decent, but not memorable title match. I'm not a fan of any weapon shots to the head, but this wasn't exactly an "Extreme Rules" match. In a PG environment, WWE is better off not raising expectations by advertising an "Extreme Rules" match when the match isn't going to come close to what that term suggests. Swagger needed the win, so that was fine. They still have some work to do with Swagger's character, but that's a good issue to have. The commentary was improved on this match with them trying to move into a more serious mode calling the bigger matches on the PPV. (**)

Post-match: Swagger slowly took his title belt and celebrated on the outside. Orton then caught up with Swagger on the floor and spun him around to deliver an RKO on the floor. The fans chanted, "Randy, Randy" as Orton walked off. Suddenly, Sheamus's music hit and Sheamus walked out past Orton to the ring. Swagger had apparently disappeared at this point. Sheamus still had the pipe in hand with a big smile on his face. He said he wants the ref to raise his hand if Hunter can't compete. ... Backstage: They showed Hunter shove Grisham out of the way and start hobbling out to the ring selling nerve damage to his left arm. He eventually made it to the ring and the fight was on.

5 -- SHEAMUS vs. TRIPLE H -- Street Fight

The fight moved to the floor early on and Hunter wore down Sheamus with an "adrenaline rush" behind him. The fight moved back to the ring and Hunter teased the Pedigree, but he sold an inability to use his bad arm to execute the move. Sheamus took advantage by attacking Hunter's bad arm and neck region. Sheamus kept working over Hunter before applying a modified chicken wing submission to work over the "injured arm." Hunter then blocked Sheamus and hit a DDT center ring. Hunter sold that it hurt him more than Sheamus, then Sheamus regained control and became frustrated when he couldn't put away Hunter.

At 10:00, Sheamus then grabbed his pipe again and measured Hunter, but Hunter hit a gut shot. Hunter tried to hit a rebound clothesline, but Sheamus finally smashed him in the face with the pipe. Sheamus made another cover, but Hunter kicked out again. Sheamus tried to follow with the Outsider's Edge - now called Pale Justice - but Hunter slipped out and tossed Sheamus to the outside. Sheamus looked under the ring and grabbed a kendo stick, but Hunter sent Sheamus into the ring steps. Hunter then picked up the stick and cracked it over Sheamus's back. Hunter started to land more kendo stick shots, now using his "bad arm" for the attack. Hunter tried to follow with the Pedigree, but Sheamus blocked again and back-dropped Hunter on the entrance ramp. Sheamus followed with the Pump Kick that KO'ed Hunter on the ramp.

Back in the ring, Hunter sold that he was fighting for every breath, so the ref asked if he wanted to continue. Hunter shoved the ref away, then told Sheamus to keep bringing it via crotch chop. Sheamus followed with a pump kick that staggered Hunter, then Sheamus landed another pump kick to the head that floored Hunter. Sheamus made the cover and scored the decisive win. Post-match: Medics checked on Hunter, who sold the effects of the street fight. They tried to put Hunter on a stretcher, but his ego got in the way and he did the fighter's stagger up the entrance ramp with help from the refs and medics. Hunter made it to the ramp, then Sheamus surprised Hunter out of nowhere with a pump kick to the head again. This time, Hunter was placed on the stretcher and fitted with a neckbrace.

WINNER: Sheamus at 15:50. The goal was obviously to protect Hunter in taking a loss, but also try to make Sheamus look like a monster heel inflicting damage on Hunter throughout the night. It certainly points to Hunter taking time off after this angle and it also sets up the rubber match down the road for Hunter to make a big comeback and look for revenge on Sheamus. Overall, a good street fight with a good story. The heels going over in the marquee matches certainly points to Cena over Batista later tonight. (**3/4)

Over the Limit PPV plug: Every car-related cliche imaginable was used to plug the next WWE PPV in May.

Backstage: Edge was shown taping up in his locker room, then Josh Mathews interrupted to ask him what his mindset is for the cage match tonight. Edge smiled and said there is no way he'll allow Chris Jericho to escape the cage tonight. "I'm not even going to try," Edge said.

6 -- Women's champion MICHELLE MCCOOL (w/Vickie Guerrero and Layla) vs. BETH PHOENIX -- Women's Title match -- Extreme Makeover match

Various make-up products were positioned on a table ringside for the Women's title match. After the ring intros, McCool took control of the match and used what appeared to be an ironing board or some other household item to choke Beth in the ring. Beth then took hairspray to the face ("borrowing" from the Beautiful People's gimmick) and McCool scored a nearfall as Vickie and Layla shouted encouragement from ringside. The tables were turned on McCool and Beth used various weapons to take control of the match. After a back and forth exchange using more ironing boards and other assorted "weapons," Beth eventually hit the Glam Slam center ring and scored the pin on McCool to win the Women's Title.

WINNER: Beth at 6:38 to capture the Women's Title. An entertaining-at-times "attraction" match, but not an endorsement of women's wrestling with the focus on the outside players and various products from the home section at Target. It was also an extension of the demeaning Smackdown storylines that have included fat jokes and other cheap methods to get heat. At the end of the day, Beth won the Women's Title and perhaps that will be a good sign for the division going forward. We'll see. (*)

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Chris Jericho ahead of the steel cage semi-main event match. Mathews asked Jericho about his loss to an NXT Rookie on Tuesday night. Jericho smirked and said one loss won't affect him or change his legendary status. Jericho said losing to a no-name - Mathews interrupted and said his name is Heath Slater. Jericho said losing to Heath Slater means nothing when he ends Edge's career tonight. Typical empty words from a heel. Jericho said it ends tonight.

In-ring: Edge came out first for the semi-main event steel cage match. Edge surveyed the cage and smiled as he "visualized the damage" he could inflict on Jericho tonight. Cue up Jericho's music to bring out Jericho for the WrestleMania re-match, this time without a title on the line. Jericho refused to enter the cage, so he grabbed a chair and approached the door, but Edge smashed him with a dropkick. Edge attacked Jericho outside the cage, reminiscent of some of the Lockdown PPV matches last Sunday. Jericho eventually crawled into the cage and Edge entered the cage before emphatically shutting the cage door shut to begin the match.

THIRD HOUR

7 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. EDGE -- Steel Cage match

As soon as Jericho entered the cage, he tried to climb out, but Edge grabbed him by the trunks to yank him back down to the mat to begin the battle. Jericho eventually started to work on Edge's previously-injured ankle, including teases of the Walls of Jericho. Edge escaped a second attempt and hit a big boot to the face. Edge then went to the corner and teased the spear while his eyes bugged out of his head. Jericho came to his feet and ran to the cage door to escape and almost ran out of the cage, but Edge grabbed him by the feet. While leaning over the door, Jericho grabbed a steel chair that was still there for whatever reason. Apparently the ref with control of the door is in cahoots with Jericho for not removing the chair. It's one of those little things that doesn't make sense that WWE doesn't want you to think about. Jericho then KO'ed Edge by smashing Edge's face with the cage door. Jericho could have left the cage at this point, but he opted to walk back into the cage. Jericho then teased a chair shot, but Edge ducked and smashed Jericho with the spear. Edge made a cover, but Jericho kicked out at two.

Edge freaked out with Jericho kicking out, then he slowly re-set his offensive attack. Jericho took advantage by dropping Edge with a codebreaker center ring. Jericho made a cover, but Edge kicked out. Jericho started climbing the cage wall, apparently content with just winning the match at this point. Jericho reached the other side of the cage wall, but Edge grabbed Jericho by the neck to drag Jericho back inside the cage. Jericho then scrambled back up the cage wall and tried to escape again, but Edge dragged him back to the other side of the cage again. Edge then sat down atop the cage and pounded on Jericho before Jericho fell to the mat and Edge ended up seated on the top rope. Suddenly, Jericho sprung to life with a flying codebreaker taking Edge off the top rope to the mat. Sick spot. Jericho couldn't make an immediate cover, so he only scored a two count on the pin attempt.

Jericho, exasperated, shouted, "Stay down, you stupid idiot!" before landing a chopblock to the back of the knee. Jericho grabbed a chair and shouted that Edge is finished, but Edge moved out of the way of a chair shot and flung Jericho face-first into the cage wall. Jericho again tried to scramble up the cage wall to escape, but Edge sent him face-first into the trusses. Jericho recoiled back to the mat and Edge could have climbed the cage to escape, but he climbed back down to the mat. Jericho started crawling toward the door, but Edge kicked him in the gut before smashing the cage door into Jericho's ankle and leg. Jericho started crying that he didn't want anymore, so Edge twisted Jericho's ankle. Jericho crawled over to the cage door, but Edge measured Jericho for a spear and connected center ring. Edge made the cover and that's all she wrote with the win.

WINNER: Edge at 20:01. A reasonably intense cage match that suffered from the usual silliness of being able to escape the cage through the door, but then wrestlers inevitably try the hard way of climbing the cage wall. This match was enjoyable if you shut your brain off and didn't try to over-think the psychology and rules here. This match will inevitably be compared to the Angle vs. Anderson cage match at Lockdown last Sunday, but Angle-Anderson was just on a completely different level where they were able to take their feud to a very violent and intense place. Edge vs. Jericho was safe, PG violence that tried to tell a good story in what was sold to the audience as the final match of this feud. (***)

In-ring: Batista came out first for the WWE Title match main event. With the spotlight on him all the way to the ring, Batista paused for a round of "You tapped out chants" before John Cena's music hit to bring out the champion to a typically loud reception. Cole put over Cena as the face of WWE and cross-over star, which eats at Batista. Striker added, "And he's the WWE champion." Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros with Batista spitting into the audience. Cena received a mixed reaction as Cole put over a big-fight feel to the title match.

8 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. BATISTA -- WWE Title match -- Last Man Standing match

The bell sounded and there was a loud "Cena sucks" chant right after some loud cheers mixed with the boos during the ring intro. Cena waited out the chant, then locked up with Batista to begin the match. Batista bailed to the outside after an initial lock-up, then Batista re-entered and squared off with Cena, who landed a flying shoulder tackle. Batista rolled to the outside again and grabbed a steel chair to bring into the ring. Batista missed with a chair shot and Cena landed a bulldog out of the corner. Batista then cut off Cena to end Cena's early control. Cena was on the mat and the ring mic was a little too close to Cena as Cena called out a spot sequence from his back. Batista then wrapped Cena's leg across the ringpost before grabbing a chair to smash Cena's leg. Cena sold the effects and Batista began working over the leg with a methodical attack. Batista then slapped on a figure four leglock and the announcers referenced Ric Flair training Batista.

Cena reversed the hold and applied the pressure to Batista, who broke the hold and sold the effects to his legs. Both men reached their feet and landed a double-clothesline for another application of a ten count. They reached their feet and Cena did his full You Can't See Me routine before dropping the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Batista took the move, then rolled to the outside and grabbed a gimmick from under the ring to jab into Cena's gut. Cena rolled back into the ring as Batista retrieved a chair, then Batista missed with a chair shot (the theme of the night) and Cena dropped Batista with the Attitude Adjustment on the chair. Batista was down for a nine count, then he shoved the ref into the ropes as Cena was up top, causing Cena to crotch himself on the top turnbuckle. Batista then smashed Cena with two straight spears and the ref applied a ten count. Cena made it to his feet at eight, then Batista smashed him with a forearm and went back to the outside looking for some more weapons from the toolbox. After scattering tools, Batista retrieved a table, which drew a pop since the audience has been waiting all night for a table.

Batista placed the table in the ring, but Cena dropped him with the STF out of nowhere. Batista flung him away, though, and Cena half-crashed through the table in the corner. The crowd booed the half-table spot before Cena reached his feet at an eight count. Cena rolled to the outside and Batista rammed him into the ringpost. "I hate you, Batista!" a child shouted at Batista. "I hate you, too!" Batista shouted back. Classic heel Batista. Cena got up again, so Batista whipped him hard all the way across the floor through the gimmicked guardrail by the timekeeper's table. A great visual there. Cena was KO'ed on the remains of the guardrail, but he reached his feet on wobbly legs at nine. Batista snapped and tore up the announce table, even aiming a monitor right at Michael Cole, who dodged the monitor by about an inch. Batista then put ring steps by the announce table and dragged Cena up the steps for a Batista Bomb. Suddenly, Cena reversed and threw Batista off the ring steps through the announce table with the Attitude Adjustment. The crowd exploded, then Cena ran into the ring as the ref applied a ten count. Batista stirred at seven, then reached his feet at nine-and-a-half with help from the guardrail. Great sequence and drama.

Cena sold shock that Batista was still in the match, then he went under the ring and grabbed a table of his own and placed it in the ring. Cena then rolled Batista back into the ring and slowly approached Batista, who suddenly dropped Cena through the table with a spinebuster. Cena made it to his feet before ten, then Batista got that evil look in his eye and grappled Cena to smash him with the Batistabomb center ring. Batista screamed at the ref to make the count, then Cena teased up at eight, teased up at nine, and popped to his feet just before ten. Batista instantly went for the ring steps for another Bomb, but Cena countered with the STF center ring. Batista started tapping, but it didn't matter. Batista then started to fade out and Cena released the hold with Batista selling that he was KO'ed. Batista stirred at four, then pulled himself up at seven, and reached his feet at nine.

Cena took a deep breath, then ran over to Batista and rammed him into the ringpost. Cena grabbed duct tape and proceeded to tie up Batista's legs around the ringpost with the tape. They're running out of PPV time here as Cena continued to wrap and wrap and wrap Batista's legs. Cena was doen with his tape job and ran back into the ring to stare at Batista, who was trapped like an animal in barbed wire. Cena did the "You Can't See Me" hand-wave in Batista's face as Batista remained tied in the ringpost at the count of ten to give Cena the win. Cena accepted his WWE Title belt as Batista pounded the mat in frustration as the announcers put over Cena out-smarting Batista. Cena then stood on the ring steps and posed with the title belt in front of Batista. They quickly replayed the finish of the title match as they approached the three-hour mark. Cole signed off with a plug for the Draft as Cena celebrated in front of Batista once again. One last shot of Cena posing with the belt on the stage concluded the PPV literally one second before they hit the top of the hour.

WINNER: Cena at 24:35 to retain the WWE Title. That was an awesome war. It was Batista's kind of match and Cena has a good history of LMS matches, especially the battle with Umaga at the 2007 Royal Rumble. The match had an Angle-Anderson level of intensity, save for blood, that was saved for the main event. One potential criticism of the match is the relative no-selling of big moves, with both men continuing to get up and get up and get up after each successive finisher or big spot. WWE tried to cover for that, though, by creating a big atmosphere and the announcers did an effective job selling the "war." Also, Cena's character continued to feed the anti-Cena sentiment with another match booked to make him like Superman. Overall, Cena might not be the best wrestler to ever set foot into a ring, but he added another great PPV main event match to his resume. And Batista stepped up in a big-match setting. (****1/4)

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.


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He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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